Waitlisted at a Private School?

Admission committees have made their decisions based on the best information available and they have done their best to match each school and student. Sometimes that decision results in placement on the school’s waiting list.

Take a deep breath. If a decision doesn’t result exactly as you had hoped, these situations have an uncanny habit of working out for the best.

Being put on the waiting list means that the school believes you fit with their student body, but your application was not as strong as other applicants.

Student and family must choose whether to continue to pursue admission after being placed on a waiting list. Pursuing a wait-listed application requires extra effort and a strong belief that you want to attend a given school.

You cannot count on acceptance in a wait-listed situation. You must still choose a school from among those to which you have been accepted and you must still evaluate and choose a school as well as fulfilling any extra requests made by the school that wait-listed your admission.

Wait-listed Application Plan

  • Decide if you want to pursue admittance to a school at which you’ve been wait-listed. Keep in mind that a school that you might be a better fit at a school that fully accepted you.

  • If you want to pursue a wait-list situation, contact the school admission office/ speak with the Director and/or financial aid officer. Make sure to return any required paperwork.

  • Ask where where you stand on the waiting list. Ask how many students the school typically admits from the waiting list. Most schools will candidly tell you if you have a strong possibility of being admitted.

  • If you know anyone who's part of the school community let them know that this is the school that you want to attend and ask if they'll advocate on your behalf.

  • If you’re invited to return for a visitation day or second interview, go. This will bolster the seriousness of your application.

Photo credit: Kevin Steinhardt

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